37-Year-Old Competitive Trail Horse Completes Another Ride

Elmer Bandit, a 37-year-old Half-Arabian gelding, completed the Indian Territory North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) ride over Memorial Day weekend, finishing in sixth place and bringing his lifetime mileage total to 20,360.

The ride, held annually on the John Zink Ranch near Tulsa, Okla., started Saturday on a "perfect day to ride" according to Darlene Wehr, DMV, official equine judge at the event.

The temperature in the 70s with a cool breeze made the tough, rocky, prairie terrain challenging, but pleasurable.

"Sunday got horrible," reported Wehr. "The temperature soared to 89 and the humidity went to an estimated 95%."

"When you see Elmer compete, you know you are watching history with every step he takes." –Dr. Darlene Wehr
Wehr said some horses were "held" at pulse and respiration checks for their protection, but not Elmer. Elmer did lose several points at the checks, a loss Wehr said was, "so rare for this horse."

Mary Anna Wood, owner, breeder, and lifelong rider of Elmer Bandit noted one disadvantage of riding 37-year old horse: "All of my back-up horses have passed away." She said she stills feels Elmer is happy going down the trail, although he does have arthritis.

Elmer is scheduled for another NATRC ride June 14, 2008, in Kansas. His mileage still falls 290 miles short of record holder Wing Tempo's 20,710 miles.

"When you see Elmer compete, you know you are watching history with every step he takes," Wehr said.

Read more about Elmer at "37-Year-Old Horse Completes First Competitive Ride of the 2008 Season."  

About the Author

Marsha Hayes

Marsha Hayes has been covering endurance, trail, and other equine topics since 2005. She believes every horse has a story.

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